Thursday, November 08, 2012

Reaching Out To Meet Human Needs

At the May 20th 2012 Commencement of Morehouse College, Strive Masiyiwa, one of Africa's most distinguished entrepreneurs and philanthropists, was conferred with the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters. In his address to the graduating class, Dr. Masiyiwa spoke on the secret of true success:

That Africa [the emerging Africa] reminds me of what a great man of God [T. L. Osborn] once told me. He said: "You know, if you really want to be a success, identify a human need and reach out to meet it." [...] In 1994, 70% of the African people [...] had never heard a telephone ring. I didn't say had used one, I said had never heard it ring. That was a human need. I knew as a young engineer, not long since my college days, that we had to change that. We had the technology to do it, the resources were out there, it was a human need. We didn't wake up and say we want to make billions of dollars; we said we want to extend telecommunications to all the peoples of Africa. And I wrote it on our boards and I told our people and I said: "Our mission is to provide telecommunications to all the people of Africa."

Today, I can report to you that nearly 70% of the African people have a telephone [...] You have a charge [...] to meet [human] needs. Perhaps you'll make money along the way, but I know something: If you reach out to meet the needs, you will wear the crown."
See 1:40:50 - 1:53:40 in the commencement video:


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